It’s rare these days to be genuinely challenged in new ways about the historic extent of this country’s racist culpability. But tonight , Prof. Gary Foley, Historian & renown Aboriginal activist, did precisely this at the Second Annual Mandela Lecture, speaking to ‘Nelson Mandela & the Aboriginal Political Resistance’. He deftly recounted systemic racist structures at play since federation, relegating Aboriginals to indentured sub human standards. The White Australia aspiration of many a PM was unequivocal. It’s fair to say, to this end especially, the sense of déjà vu was not lost on the audience. 

The contempt for government after government instituting failed promises to afford Aboriginal entitlements since the seventies, including a spectacular fall from grace by Hawke, was unforgiving.
And finally, Foley acknowledged the disappointment of Mandela’s reluctance after his release to speak up on the mistreatment of Aborigines- that left an indelible hurt on his people, given the strident support they had garnered to protest apartheid during Mandela’s incarceration. Despite this misgiving, Foley maintained that a respect for Mandela’s life long struggle for freedom of his people remained a critical inspiration to Foleys ongoing spirit to fight for Aboriginal land rights, self determination and full recognition. 

This was an incredible lecture. It provoked thought and challenged comfort and convention. Bold truths are required in order for privilege to be tested. Foley went there, and didn’t hold back. 

Absolute legend. #foleyeffect #mandelaeffect #aboriginallivesmatter #blackpower #aboriginallandrights